When we considered moving to Oregon, Bruce’s dream was to have a nice, large piece of land with plenty of room for gardening. I found a piece of property in Roseburg that was just perfect for both of us in that it has a very nice house, lots of acreage and a 2 acre garden. What we didn’t plan on was having an established farm. Our farm is a tree farm, planted in Ponderosa pines by the previous owner. And boy, do we ever have a lot of Ponderosa pines!
The bark helps to distinguish it from other species. This is a hardy, drought tolerant tree having thick , protective bark comprised of stacked plates that sometimes look like puzzle pieces. The deep cracks in old tree bark smell pleasant, like vanilla with a hint of butterscotch or warm cookie. Old growth ponderosas grow 150 to 180 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet in diameter. http://www.bentler.us/eastern-washington/plants/trees/ponderosa.aspx
We don’t have anywhere near old growth status, but they are all a decent size. We are supposed to go out in the late fall and winter when the sap isn’t running and prune the lower branches of each tree, which increases the diameter of the tree and in turn, will yield a higher price when logged. (See the post on November 1, 2013, called Lifting and Falling to read more about this process.)
At any rate, we do have a lot of trees, but apparently not enough for Bruce! He just recently ordered 100 saplings and we ended up getting about 250 of them. Oh my! Bruce wanted to fill in some bare areas of land and since he had so many he planted them in areas where they probably won’t grow, like the swampy spot down by the neighbor’s pond.
Can you see any planted trees in the photo on the left? They are there, but they are very small.
The trees, even if we don’t live long enough to see them harvested, have many benefits. They are a very nice ground cover that I don’t have to mow, they provide shelter for the elk and deer and birds, they block us from the neighbors, and they just look great!